Wednesday, August 31, 2016

W9W QSL Cards for the MO QSO Party 2016

It's been a very busy month for me regarding amateur radio. One of the things I've completed is the QSL card for our Missouri QSO party 3 county line expedition.  I only got a few QSL cards, but since we operated at W9W, I could not send out the standard card, so I made a new one.

I stopped by my local print shop and they are going to make 24 of them for a low cost, much cheaper than one of the those on-line QSL card printers.

Here is the final design.

..and the back

Sunday, August 28, 2016

NA QSO Party SSB Aug 2016

I operated in the NA QSO SSB contest last weekend.  Justin and I decided to operate from his house, as it's RF quiet there, also it's in the comfort of the A/C in Aug.

Before I arrived, Justin pulled a 20m resonate dipole in a north/south configuration.  Once I got there, we strung an 80m - 10m dipole through the woods in a north/south configuration.

I was really pleased how accurate my slingshot can be for stringing dipoles.  I changed out the weights from the teardrop to egg shape and they fly out of the slingshot much more accurately.

We operated for 10 hours with misc breaks here and there.  I think but-in-chair time was around 9 hours.  We made 400 contacts total.  Once we hit that milestone, we quit for the night.

I noticed the NAQP is a lot like Field Day.  It's a very laid back contest.  Operators are trying to make as many contacts as possible, but there isn't a "rush" like I've seen in other high profile contests.  I guess because this contest doesn't count for anything but braggin' rights so it's more low key.

About 5pm central time, we switched it up and I started search & pounce on 20m.  I made a few contacts, but soon quickly decided to go back on 40m to run.

I could really hear the static crashes on 40m, as there were storms all around the STL area.

If your looking for a contest to start getting your chops up to speed, this would be a great starter contest along with your state QSO party.

I learned one important thing about the QSOrder recording software.  It did record all the individual QSO's correctly, but my continuous recording failed.  I had both slices recording in the same directory.  It uses the same file name for the continuous recording, so it was fighting with each other over writing the file.  Because of that, I didn't get a full recording.

Here was a screenshot of my setup for the contest.

Head over to my contest audio and log file archive to see the log for the contest.

Video to be uploaded soon!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Operating & Chasing Portable Stations - Working NPOTA, SOTA, IOTA and Others!

I put together a presentation for my local club based on all my portable experiences. I threw in NPOTA, SOTA and other chaser/activator programs to spice it up. Here is the presentation I put together.